Europe 1944: Liberation of France
Throughout July the Allies consolidated and reinforced their hold over Normandy. On August 5 they struck, sweeping south, east and west across France. Ten days later an additional force landed in southern France. French and American troops entered Paris on the 25th.
23 Jun–19 Aug 1944 Operation Bagration▲
On 23 June 1944 the Soviet Red Army attacked German Army Group Centre in Byelorussia, with the objective of encircling and destroying its main component armies. By 28 June the German Fourth Army had been destroyed, along with most of the Third Panzer and Ninth Armies. The Red Army exploited the collapse of the German front line to encircle German formations in the vicinity of Minsk, destroying them and liberating Minsk. With the end of effective German resistance in Byelorussia, the Soviet offensive continued further to Lithuania, Poland and Romania over the course of July and August.
15 Aug 1944 Operation Dragoon▲
Following the successful capture of Normandy, the Allies invaded Southern France, landing on the Côte D’Azur on 15 August and rapidly pushing inward with help from a French Resistance-led uprising in the region.
19–25 Aug 1944 Liberation of Paris▲
With the approach of the US 3rd Army under General George Patton, the French Forces of the Interior (FFI)—the military component of the French Resistance—staged an uprising against the German garrison in Paris. While the Germans were skirmishing with the FFI, Free French forces entered the city on the night of 24 August, followed by General Philippe Leclerc’s 2nd French Armored Division and the US 3rd Army on the morning of the 25th. Despite Hitler’s orders to destroy the city, the German garrison surrendered at 3:30 pm that day.
23 Aug 1944 King Michael’s Coup▲
Following months of secret negotiations with the Soviet Union, Romanian opposition politicians, led by the Communist Party, persuaded King Michael to remove pro-Nazi Prime Minister Ion Antonescu from office. On 23 August 1944, Antonescu was removed and replaced by General Constantin Sanatescu, and Romania joined the Allies. A German invasion, Operation Margarethe II, was planned but not implemented.
29 Aug–28 Oct 1944 Slovak National Uprising▲
In late August 1944 the Slovak resistance movement launched an armed insurrection from Banská Bystrica against both German troops in Slovakia and the collaborationist government of Jozef Tiso. German forces crushed the uprising by the end of October, although guerrilla operations continued until the fall of Fascist Slovakia in 1945.